The Coal Seam Gas Rush

ABC News Online - 13.1.2012

Coal seam gas has emerged as a major industry in Australia in little more than a decade.
The scale and speed of its growth has been nothing short of astonishing: billions of dollars have poured into regional areas; new jobs have been created; state and national coffers have swelled; export contracts have been signed and sealed; massive liquefied natural gas facilities have been approved for construction at regional ports.

Farmers fear they are losing control of their land. Miners and some politicians say coal seam gas offers a much greener energy choice. Environmentalists and other politicians have cast doubt on those claims.
The ABC’s data journalism project has pulled together information from dozens of sources to provide an insight into the promise and the dangers inherent in the coal seam gas rush.

Did you know:
• it is estimated there will be 40,000 coal seam gas wells in Australia
• conservative estimates suggest coal seam gas wells could draw 300 gigalitres of water from the ground each year?
• the industry could produce as much greenhouse gas as all the cars on the road in Australia?
• modelling suggests the industry could produce 31 million tonnes of waste salt over the next 30 years?

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One Response to “The Coal Seam Gas Rush”

  1. Anne Kennedy says:

    There is a fierce debate about the amount of water the coal seam gas industry will extract from underground, and what impact it may have on the sustainability of the Great Artesian Basin.
    The industry suggests it will pull out somewhere between 126 gigalitres and 280 gigalitres a year, while the National Water Commission puts the figure above 300 gigalitres a year. Others, including the Water Group advising the Federal Government, suggest it is higher still.
    This amount of water, taken from an already stressed GAB, cannot be allowed.

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